House on Mango Street Writing Reponses


Throughout most of my childhood my parents have reminded me “Look after your siblings.” It got repetitive eventually. I grew up

resenting the fact that I was the one who always had to take responsibility for my siblings’ wrong actions. I was labeled as the sole

influence and was told that everything I did my siblings would follow. I didn’t like my siblings. I tolerated them, but never grew

close to them. I stopped looking after them because no matter what I did I was the one who always had to take the blame in the

end. To this day my parents still tell me to watch out for them. And then I began to question, ‘Who looks out for me?’


Legos. Childhood stuffed animals. Cartoons on my old i-pad. Watching the little tadpoles swimming in my grandma’s koi fish

pond. I left all of that back when we moved when I was nine. We moved from my grandma’s small, three-bedroom house where

my family of five and my grandma spent most of my childhood in, to a much bigger, two story house I live in today.

Whenever I visit my grandma, I slowly walk through her house, knowing that these walls were lined with memories… and

deformed drawings of animals from when I had gotten sent to time-out. The house I had once thought was pretty big, now

appeared to be so little, yet had this comforting feeling whenever I was inside.

That Fat Old Man

Hailey, who is a good friend of mine, went skiing with our family this year. It was a recent Christmas tradition of ours, to go skiing

up in Utah, and have dinner at one of the best pizza places in Brian Head. 

“We’re coming,” Hailey had called from our door. We rushed outside, being hit with the frigid air, turning our breaths into smoke.

We trudged through the snow together, heading into our cars as our father began driving to the pizza place.

“So, earlier something happened with me and another resident at the hotel,” my father began. As soon as those words left his

mouth my brain began racing a million miles an hour, thinking of all the possibilities of what could’ve happened, as worry laced

my thoughts. “There’s this old guy, he’s pretty big and I think around his mid fifties. He doesn’t seem to like Asians.” my father

continued. “I was walking through the hallway and he randomly asked to see my room key. So if you kids see him, just ignore

him.” That made my blood boil. 

If I had encountered that fat old man, I wouldn’t have shown him my key card. What makes him so entitled? He’s just a fat old man. 

A fat old man who was privileged.


Kids are rowdy. I should know, because I was once one of those kids. Running around the house screaming, fighting with my

siblings, talking back. I was a hyper child.

The fights with my siblings however, were a different story. We would fight over the stupidest things and looking back, I realize

how silly it was. Fighting over toys, candy, a piece of tinfoil. Practically anything.

After one of the fights I remember my mama being so sick and tired of it all. “When are you going to grow up and get out of the


I know she didn’t mean it. Eight year old me thinks she didn’t.

Medicine & Old People

The sound of footsteps echoed through the white hallways as my family, along with Hailey’s family walked through the hospital.

That weird hospital smell wafted through the entire building. The smell of old ladies.

We had gone to visit one of my father’s closest colleagues. He had gotten a stroke apparently. 

We kept walking for what seemed like hours, turning left, then right, then left again, over and over. Until we finally made it to his

room. We slowly pushed open the blue door, and stepped in quietly, one by one. 

“Hey John!” my father called out to his friend cheerfully. He didn’t do anything. Just stared. His memory had almost vanished

after the severe stroke.

We all took pictures together, trying to make this visit last forever. We asked John if he could remember any of us. And he slowly

gave the names of my siblings and I, but somehow, couldn’t remember my father’s. 

I approached him. “Uncle John? Do you remember my father?” He gave a weak nod. “What’s his name?” “Derek.” he responded,

and my father was overjoyed. “When you get better, where do you want to go out to eat? I’ll take you anywhere you’d like.” my

father told him. “Lobster.” Uncle John responded. We all chuckled and agreed, all gathered around next to him, making small


We all knew, however, my father wasn’t going to be able to take Uncle John out for lobster.

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